I attended the WOW awards 2011 in Salthill last night in the elegant surroundings of the Galway Bay Hotel. Presented by Tony O'Dwyer and the ravishing Gerardine Burke, the event featured a champagne reception which I unfortunately wasn't able to avail of due to the drive up and down.
Finally got a chance to have a bit of a chat with poet-farmer Miceal Kearney, who I've met a number of times but only fleetingly. He's currently completing a mammoth series of exams to show the EU that he knows how to plant a turnip and calve a cow.
Also met Seamus Harrington whose name constantly crops up in lists of contributors and competition shortlistees and who was a WOW contender last year also. A lovely man who will know what I say when I mention that he could write a villanelle in his sleep.
Delighted to meet up again with the bubbly Eleanor Hooker who informed me that she just got second prize in the William Trevor / Elizabeth Bowen International Short Story competition. God, isn't it sickening to meet someone so multi-talented?
I had also agreed to collect a copy of the anthology and any possible prize on behalf of Tom Dredge of Boyne Writers, another very nice and unassuming poet who, I am sure, was distraught that he had to go on an eight week holiday to Australia instead of the WOW awards
So to the awards, ten shortlistees in poetry and ten in prose, read out in reverse order. The results were 1) Bird Boy by Kate Horsley, 2) Alethiometer by Eleanor Hooker and 3) New World by Kevin Graham. Congratulations to all. Reading the three winners, I could see why mine didn't quite make it.
The three winners of the Short Story prize were 1) Annemarie Neary with Tom, aged eighteen 2) Earthworms by Danielle McLoughlin and 3) A Moment of Clarity by Gerry Boland.
The shortlisted pieces have been anthologised and the awards were complemented by the launch of the anthology which will be available shortly.
All in all, a lovely evening, many thanks to Tony and Ger, and augmented by the fact that I bagged three new lighthouses which I will post up on my Irish Lighthouse blog. Eventually.